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Author Topic: Question about synopsis length  (Read 990 times)
alislove
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« on: September 29, 2017, 02:08:09 PM »

Hello,

As everyone here knows torturing tens of thousands of (or in my case one hundred thousand) words into five hundred is a daunting task. I've achieved a twenty two hundred worder which was no easy feat. My novel is one of psychological suspense and hinges on subtlety. so I'm not entirely thrilled with the synopsis. Now I have to brutalize it some more. Any suggestions I haven't already read under every google search and every post here? Sorry, I'm feeling desperate. I don't want to do my story a disservice.  :' rant crazy  ridem' cowboy

And how insane would it be to include a 2300 worder?  Haha... Curtis Brown allows for 3000 on their submission form. Am I certifiable? Also a year ago I swear I read on the Writer's House site that an eight page synopsis was desired. crazy I'm probably slipping into delusion... hmm

Thanks for any thoughts!
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jcwrites
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2017, 03:45:00 PM »

Many agents don't ask for synopses, don't want them, can't stand them. Work on your query and submit to them first. With luck you won't ever need a synopsis.

(And yes, I have written a few, and no, they're not fun. Try crafting one sentence for each chapter or major scene sequence; and don't worry about dramatic suspense or flow or that it reads like dry toast. If an agent gets this far--or even wants to--they're only checking that your novel has all its parts and doesn't at the climax suddenly morph from a nice little cozy into a screaming, ectoplastic horror story.)

Good luck.
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alislove
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2017, 04:56:44 PM »

Thanks jcwrites!

That makes me feel a bit better. Unfortunately several of the agents I intend to pitch want one. But that returns me to the insane idea of including the longer synopsis. Perhaps they wouldn't balk at such a thing.  They can always just not read it!  crazy I'll figure it out somehow!

But I do like the idea of sending the very nice query alone.
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Curious Author
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2017, 09:20:57 PM »

I tried to get out of writing the dreaded synopsis as long as I could, but you'll actually (probably) need to have one later for editors. Also, some agents throw you the "full manuscript plus the synopsis," so, no avoiding that. Better to have one you prepared for rather than one you had to speed through to get out ASAP.
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mafiaking1936
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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2017, 12:37:21 PM »

The other day I had to submit a one-paragraph synopsis. It's completely absurd, but agents have the attention spans of goldfish. It would probably be a good idea to go no more than 500-600 words for a standard synopsis if no length is specified.  Why don't you post your here and see if people can help trim it down?
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jcwrites
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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2017, 12:59:03 PM »

@mafiaking1936: "The other day I had to submit a one-paragraph synopsis."

Yeah, I've encountered the same thing. I take it to mean the "story" part of a basic query letter--without the paragraph breaks. Otherwise (what you said) it makes no sense.
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alislove
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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2017, 02:30:21 AM »

Curious Author,

Yes, I agree one must have the monster Evil ready. I'm working mine down now!
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alislove
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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2017, 02:39:08 AM »

mafiaking1936,

 bonk One paragraph... What a joke. I guess that simplifies things to such an extreme that, as jcwrites said, it's almost the same as the query. I just may post and ask for help but I think I'm working it out.  Also didn't know how thrilled everyone here would be to have to read 2200 words!

Thanks to all of you for the support and thoughts! Once I'm not so overwhelmed with work etc. I look forward to contributing here as well! zen
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